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20.9.02

Monsignor Says Gays Shouldn't Be Priests

Monsignor Baker also said that a vow of celibacy by a homosexual man is "superfluous" because it is a promise to abstain from homosexual acts that are already sinful and must be abstained from.

The homosexual priest, moreover, cannot be "genuinely a sign of Christ's spousal love for the church," which implies a male-female relationship, he said.


I'm setting aside all the problems with the opening and middle of the article -- I'm not here to tell the Catholics how to read their Bibles or understand human biology, sociology, and psychology. What I found interesting was the bit I quoted above, from the end of the article. I had always understood the rationale behind celibacy to be that having a romantic relationship interfered with priestly duty. It diverted the priest's energy from the work of serving God, and made him somehow impure. Which to me suggested that the priesthood would be a good option for gay Catholics (and it's no doubt attracted a few on these grounds) -- if your religion says you have to be celibate either way, you might as well take advantage of it.

But what Baker is suggesting here is that the act of abstaining from something desirable and (in general) permissible is inherently virtuous, and priests must exercise extraordinary virtue. Abstaining from gay sex doesn't count toward this, as it's a sunk cost -- you'd have to abstain anyway. (To step into the realm of the frivolous for a moment, perhaps gay priests could even the score by keeping kosher.)

The second paragraph I quoted I can't make any sense out of. In what way do straight priests symbolize Jesus' "spousal love" for the Church by remaining single?

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